In response to multiple accusations of sexual harassment and sexual assault, now-former MSNBC and NBC News analyst Mark Halperin issued an apology via Twitter Friday evening for his behavior while serving as the political director of ABC News. “For a long time at ABC News, I was part of the problem. I acknowledge that, and I deeply regret it,” the veteran journalist said in his statement. “As I said earlier in the week, my behavior was wrong. It caused fear and anxiety for women who were only seeking to do their jobs.” According to a new CNN report also published Friday evening, the number of women who have accused Halperin of sexual misconduct is now at least 12. Their accusations include alleged unwanted touching; masturbating in front of a female colleague; shoving one woman against a window; and, after the same woman refused his advances, threatening over the phone, “’You’re never going to be hired in politics or media. Why would anyone ever hire you?’” Per CNN, Halperin denies masturbating in front of, assaulting, or threatening anyone.
That being said, in his apology, Halperin acknowledges committing other, unspecified acts of sexual misconduct at ABC News, conduct so egregious even to himself that the journalist underwent “weeklong counseling sessions to work on understanding the personal issues and attitudes that caused me to behave in such an inappropriate manner.” Due to this therapy, the now-former news analyst says he has not targeted any other women for harassment in roughly a decade. Should you check with his other employers during that time period, including TIME, Bloomberg, NBC News and Showtime, Halperin says, “You would find that I had a very different reputation than I had at ABC News because I conducted myself in a very different manner.”
While Halperin takes issue with some accusations made against him, he says he bears “responsibility for my outrageous conduct at ABC News.” Writes the journalist, “I hope not only will women going forward be more confident in speaking up, but also that we as an industry and society can create an atmosphere that no longer tolerates this kind of behavior.” As a result of the allegations, Penguin Press has decided not to publish Halperin’s upcoming book about the 2016 presidential race, HBO has canceled plans for a project based on the book, and Showtime is reconsidering the future of the documentary series The Circus, which is co-hosted by Halperin. You can read Halperin’s full statement below.